A selection of media coverage
on the March 2006
visit to Cuba by the Nation of Islam,
under the leadership of Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Watch, listen to Min. Farrakhan's Havana news conference.
March 27, 2006, approximately one hour in length.
Transcript of news conference:
Walter Lippmann: Notes on the news conference
Minister Farrakhan leads
Farrakhan and delegation meet with President Fidel Castro of
Min. Farrakhan expressed outrage and disappointment upon learning that the U.S. government rejected Cuba’s offer to provide over 1,600 doctors to aid in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The delegation learned how the Cuban government implements life-saving, rapid-response strategies in the face of impending disasters.
During an approximately one-hour-long press conference on March 27, 2006, in Havana, Cuba, Min. Farrakhan stated, “That’s why the whole world is turning against America. You need a new government. We need regime change in America. We need a better policy, a better domestic policy and a better foreign policy, so that the greatness of America can be felt by all her neighbors.”
During the mission, the Cuban government provided the delegation with unfettered access to the officials in various governmental departments to impart how the various agencies work together to minimize and/or eliminate human casualties during, and immediately after natural disasters.
The delegation learned methods and strategies of collecting vital information in advance of natural disasters that would provide for a more measured and precise evacuation plan. The Cuban government apprised the delegation of procedures it implemented which prevented the loss of any life during Hurricanes Wilma and Henry and a nominal loss of life during Hurricane Katrina.
The delegation, led by Min. Louis Farrakhan, intends to initiate disaster preparedness and relief pilot projects throughout the United States based on information learned from the Cuban government. The information will be tailored to meet the unique needs of those particular communities.
Of the over 12 millions Cubans on the island, 72,000 of them are medical doctors. In comparison of the over 40 million Blacks citizens in America, only 30,000 of them are medical doctors. In light of this disparity, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro offered nearly 1,000 full scholarships to medical school in Cuba for Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.
During the above-mentioned press conference, a reporter asked Min. Farrakhan why would American students seek to attend medical school in Cuba. Min. Farrakhan who is in no position to turn down life-saving support critically needed for Blacks and the poor, responded by citing the escalating costs of medical school education in the United States, which is beyond the reach of the most poor people, as well as many in the middle class.
Between 2004 and 2006, Cuba, through its “Operation Miracle” project, has conducted over 187,000 cataract removal surgeries in Latin American and the Caribbean. During an intimate meeting with Min. Farrakhan and a select number of delegates, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro and the Cuban government offered, through its affiliates, 100,000 cataract-removal surgeries for the poor and uninsured citizens of America free of charge. The program is set to begin in the coming months.
© Copyright 2006 FCN Publishing, FinalCall.com
FinalCall.com News - Refer This Page
Why does the U.S. government hate Cuba?
By Dr. Ridgely Muhammad
Updated Apr 10, 2006, 08:01 am
Cuban ‘bomber’ seeking U.S. asylum was on CIA payroll (FCN, 05-24-2005)
Bush’s new ‘axis of evil’—Castro and Chavez (FCN, 04-12-2005)
Campaign to free Cuban Five seeks mainstream spotlight (FCN, 03-13-2004)
Black journalists get close-up view of Cuba (FCN, 06-11-2002)
Pope to U.S.: Lift Cuban embargo
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (c) and the Millions More Movement delegation in Cuba with the island nation's medical students after his historic address to them. Photo: Kenneth Muhammad
The United States has an embargo against the import of anything from Cuba (especially her ideas). The government will not allow American citizens to buy anything from Cuba and bring it back to America.
Under the Helms-Burton Act, America revoked the licenses of ships to dock at American ports if those ships dared to transport goods to Cuba from another country. America has also ignored the 2004 UN resolution that demanded the lifting of the embargo against Cuba. Only after Hurricane Michelle devastated Cuba in 2001 did America even allow Cuba to purchase food and medicine from America. Cuba has imported food grains, but no medicine because she does not trust the American pharmaceutical industry.
Before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Cuba offered to send 1,100 doctors who spoke English to help the hurricane victims. America rejected the offer. Why?
America reluctantly returned 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez to Cuba in June 2000, claiming that America wanted him to have a better life in America. Elian’s mother died at sea while she and other relatives were trying to reach America in a small aluminum boat in November 1999. Elian’s father stayed in Cuba and wanted his son to return and Elian wanted to return to his father. America would give the world the impression that the Cuban government has her people under house arrest and is denying her citizens the right to flee “tyranny” and escape to freedom in South Florida.
From March 19-28, I was a part of a delegation that visited Cuba with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. We saw that the blockade against Cuba had reduced the levels of consumption of luxury items in Cuba. However, Cuba had developed over 71,000 doctors. These doctors are paid very low wages compared to doctors in America. Therefore, the doctors in Cuba should be the first Cubans to flee Cuba if given the chance, so they could make big bucks in America, if money and luxury are what they want.
If America felt that her system was better than Cuba’s, she should be glad to allow the Cuban doctors to taste the “freedom and prosperity” of America. Instead, Fidel Castro offered the doctors and America refused. Hmmmmmm? Could it be that America knows that the Cuban doctors would have a better chance to convert the victims of Katrina to the Cuban way, rather than America convert the doctors from Cuba to the American way?
After America rejected the offer of Cuba to send doctors to aid the victims of Katrina, a massive earthquake struck Pakistan. Cuba sent these same doctors, called her “Medical Brigade,” to attend to over 100,000 extremely injured victims of that earthquake. Those doctors and technicians did not seek political asylum in Pakistan. They came back to Cuba after doing their humanitarian work. We met some of them on our tour and they shared their experiences of working alongside Turkish and American doctors in the mountains of Pakistan. Why did these doctors come back to Cuba? Why do the Cubans love their country?
During our visit, we saw a country of civilized, well-fed, well-mannered and happy citizens. Citizens receive free education from kindergarten through graduate school and a base quantity of staple food items. Cuba is reaching out to Black farmers in America to purchase food products to supplement what Cuba grows at home. Gasoline costs $0.80 per gallon.
The constitution guarantees the right to medical care and citizens receive free medical care including major surgery, eye surgery and dental surgery. Cuba has one doctor for every 156 of her citizens. According to the 1990 Census, there was only one doctor for every 1,449 Black people in America and only one doctor for every 415 White people in America. So the Cuban people have better access to medical care than do the American people, Black or White.
The life expectancy in Cuba was 45 years before the Revolution in 1959. Now her life expectancy is 77.8 years. She has eliminated measles and tetanus. Her infant mortality rate is between 5 and 6 percent. She has polyclinics available in every municipality and convenient to even the most remote mountainous area of the country.
Cuba not only has 71,000 doctors to serve her population of 12.2 million people, she is sending doctors around the world in 120 countries. She has deployed 28,200 medical doctors and technicians throughout the world and has set up medical schools in four countries. She has 3,000 foreign students on full scholarship in her medical schools, 82 of them are Blacks from America. This number is far short of the 500 full scholarships that Cuba has offered to Black high school graduates who want to become doctors to service their people back in America.
The entire continent of Africa only has 50,000 doctors, so Cuba has developed a strategy to set up 11 medical schools in Africa that should produce 20,000 students per year for the next 10 years, which should bring the total number of doctors to 250,000 in 10 years.
Under “Operation Miracle,” Cuban doctors have performed 250,000 operations to return sight to the blind. Eye surgery is free. She has established ophthalmology centers in Bolivia and Venezuela. Cuba’s goal is to cure most of the estimated 5 million blind people in South America. Cuba has even offered free eye surgery to 100,000 American citizens. We wonder if the American government will deny her citizens a chance to be given back their sight free of charge.
Why does the American government hate Cuba? Cuba allows her citizens to practice whatever religion they choose. According to the head of religious affairs in Cuba, some people even practice more than one religion. We even attended a Christian Sunday church service on the morning of Mar. 2.
Housing is free to every citizen. Farmers can own their own land. However, the farmers have learned to work together in production, credit and marketing cooperatives. There is no unemployment in Cuba, because either you have a job or you are in school.
In Cuba, everyone is their brother’s keeper. There is no person who is alone, lost or isolated. In the time of a natural disaster or the threat of invasion, everyone is prepared to act immediately to save the lives of Cuba’s citizens or protect them against aggression. Even the farmers keep in reserve a certain number of meat animals in case the city dwellers need to flee and retreat to the countryside for a period of time.
Why does the American government
hate Cuba? Cuba is educating the ignorant, healing the sick and opening the eyes
of the blind. Cuba’s governing philosophy is what she calls “The Cult of Human
Rights.” It now seems that America does not want such a philosophy to spread to
other countries. If Cuba were to be allowed to influence other governments, then
these countries would be obligated to see to the needs of their citizens instead
of pandering to the bloodsuckers of the poor, i.e. the international bankers,
transnational corporations and the “merchants of death” that run
© Copyright 2006 FCN Publishing, FinalCall.com
Farrakhan: Cuba is an example for the U.S.
by James G. Muhammad April 3, 2006
The U.S. Government must become more neighborly to other countries in order to avert the divine destruction that has visited former great and powerful nations, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan warned.
Farrakhan made his comments at a news conference in Cuba March 27, The event was rebroadcast via the Internet Sunday for a national audience in Nation of Islam mosques and others across the country to give more details about the trip that received scant coverage in the U.S. media.
In light of the chaos and destruction in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, Farrakhan's delegation was visiting Cuba to find out how Communist country prepares for evacuations and experiences little or no loss of life in major hurricanes. The delegation also wanted to study how the government manages to provide free health care and education for its citizens.
"We were greatly pained that the government of Cuba offered 1,100 doctors to aid the suffering of our people three times before Katrina struck," Farrakhan said at the International Press Center of Cuba. "Unfortunately, three times the offer of the Cuban Government was refused. We felt it was necessary for us to come and learn how Cuba prepares for disaster."
Referring to biblical passages that speak of increased disasters and wars in the "last days," Farrakhan said America is witnessing more frequent and stronger natural disasters. The U.S. fits the prototype of former nations that were arrogant with power and were destroyed by such disasters, he said.
The U.S. must become like the "Good Samaritan" in the Bible who helped the wounded man in the road while the priests passed him by, Farrakhan said.
He said the delegation was impressed with how Cubans organize the people "house by house, block by block and street by street" so they will know every person who is blind, deaf or physically impaired. The Nation of Islam plans to share the information with groups such as the NAACP and the National Urban League, he said.
"When disaster afflicts, they know exactly where to go. We never want to see again what we saw in New Orleans," he said. "The people were ill prepared and the government failed them. Disaster doesn't know race, religion or class. It kills us all."
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Even though Cuba has suffered under a four-decade U.S. embargo, the Cuban peoples' "level of humanity" makes them exceedingly rich, Farrakhan said. The embargo is punishing Cuban people in hopes that they will rise up against President Fidel Castro. Unfortunately, the stress being felt by the American people is beginning to fuel a sense of uprising inside the U.S., he said.
Responding to a question about alleged human rights abuses in Cuba, Farrakhan said the U.S. government loves to interfere in the internal affairs of other governments. Blacks are familiar such tactics, having been victims of the FBI's counterintelligence plan that disrupted Black organizations during the civil rights movement, he said.
"It is not difficult for me to see that our government is busy in Cuba to create a problem for the Cuban Revolution. Having said that, it would be up to the legal department of Cuban authorities to separate those who sincerely have legitimate critique without evil intent from those who have been paid to perform a service for the U.S. against the Cuban people and the Cuban Revolution," he said.
Farrakhan said the American people would respond better to the unjust suffering of the Cuban people if they were better informed, adding that the Bush administration and many media outlets work for the benefit of international bankers, industrialists and corporations.
Using a phrase often quoted by President George W. Bush, Farrakhan said, "That's why the whole world is turning against America. You need a new government. We need 'regime change' in America.
"We need a better policy, a better domestic and a better foreign policy, so that the greatness of America can be felt by all her neighbors," he said.
Havana. March 28, 2006
The United States should lift the blockade
and provide justice for the Five
• The leader of the Nation of Islam, an African-American religious/socio-political organization, visits the island • In order for there to be no repeat of New Orleans, delegation came to learn from Cuba’s experience in natural disaster prevention
BY NIDIA DIAZ—Granma International staff writer—
THE demand for the U.S. government to “lift the blockade and provide justice for the Five” Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in U.S. prisons was made public by African-American religious leader Louis Farrakhan during a press conference in Havana, right before ending his visit to Cuba.
The top leader of the Nation of Islam, a religious/socio-political organization, explained to Cuban and foreign reporters at the International Press Center on March 27 that after the devastating Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, they wanted to visit the island due to its experiences accumulated over the last 47 years in successfully confronting the devastating consequences of those natural phenomena.
He recalled the sadness that he felt in learning that the Bush government had rejected the selfless aid offered by the Cuban government at the time, consisting of sending 1,100 doctors to New Orleans to help the victims in situ.
“We do not want bear witness again to what we saw in New Orleans. People did not know what to do, where to turn and the government failed them.” That is why they were in Cuba, he said, to learn from the Cuban experience and to return and meet with mayors and the community and make an assessment, draw up a prevention plan and prepare people so that the same thing does not happen again when devastating hurricanes strike.
According to Farrakhan and the delegation accompanying him, it was an encouraging lesson to see how in Cuba, the situation of each citizen is known, house by house, block by block, and how everybody knows where to go when the time comes. All of that, he added, has enabled Cuba to prevent the loss of human lives and decrease preventable material losses.
He added that he was impressed that the Cuban people, who in spite of living with many deprivations because of the policy of blockade imposed by the U.S. government, have a “level of humanity that makes it immensely rich.”
By visiting Cuba, he said, he was able to learn about the Revolution’s original ideas, which are much more humanistic that those of all the religions he knows about. “All religions can learn from the experience of Cuba,” where the government guarantees health and education free of charge to all of its citizens, while in his country, any medical student finishes his studies with a debt of no less than 100,000 or $150,000.
In that sense, he noted that the Cuban Revolution offered 500 scholarships to young people from the United States to study medicine free of charge, the only requirement being that when they finish, they go back to their communities to help their people.
Farrakhan said that in his country, with all of its enormous power, there are 30 million functional illiterates, 40 million people who do not have medical insurance and millions who live below the poverty line.
He reaffirmed his commitment to telling the truth about Cuba to the U.S. people, about how the Cuban people prepare for natural contingencies; about the miracle of Operation Miracle; about the training of young people who were on the streets and are now social workers. The U.S. people, he said, would be better if they were more informed.
“If we are not too proud and arrogant in the United States,” there is a lot to be learned from Cuba.
In response to a foreign reporter’s question, he noted that the U.S. government loves to get involved in the internal affairs of other countries. “We are always concerned about creating problems for governments who do not like our policies, who do not like the interests of transnational corporations, of the bankers.”
Thus, he said, “it is not hard for me to realize that our government in very busy in the case of Cuba to create problems for the Cuban Revolution,” by paying its agents on the island.
Further on, he condemned Washington’s policy of “sucking the blood of the peoples without sharing its riches and its advances with the poor and weak of the Earth.”
In that sense, he noted that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword, and thus the entire world is rising up against the U.S. government.
The Nation of Islam delegation, which visited Cuban at the
invitation of the National Assembly of People’s Power, met with high-ranking
government officials and toured place of economic, social and cultural interest.
Havana. March 28, 2006
“We have lost confidence in the government”
KATRINA’S victims are still suffering the effects seven months after that disaster occurred, affirmed Louis Farrakhan in remarks during the Cuban TV/radio program “Roundtable.”
He added that many of the hurricane victims are “in 44 U.S. states, and it seems like the government does not want these people to go back to their cities.”
“We have seen devastated areas, enormous areas that have been subject to the passing of bulldozers because people in real estate have seen how valuable that land can be when they take out the people who are living there.”
Farrakhan criticized the elections currently taking place in New Orleans.
“It seems like officials don’t want Black people to go back to having community power in that city,” he said, noting that several African-American leaders are firmly opposed to those elections, “where citizens who were displaced will not have the possibility of their voices being heard.”
The government has spent millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money so that Iraqis who live in the United States can vote in the elections being held in Iraq, but is not making the same effort so that displaced people in the United States can also have the privilege of voting in the upcoming elections, he said.
“We are here because we have lost confidence in the U.S. government,” he affirmed frankly.
In addition, Farrakhan said he felt very proud of the position taken by the Cuban Baseball Federation in the context of the recent World Baseball Classic, by donating its prize money to Katrina’s victims.
“Cuba said that it was not playing for money and that is one of the things that we have confirmed,” he said.
Farrakhan issued an appeal to defeat that “propaganda machine that has made the U.S. people ignorant of what is happening 90 miles from their coast.”
“There is nothing greater than the truth,” he commented.
(Jean Guy Allard)
NB All quotes retranslated from the Spanish.
US Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan Defends Cuba
Havana, Mar 28 (Prensa Latina) US Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan and his accompanying delegation are winding up Tuesday a visit to Cuba, after touring places of social, economic interest and meeting with local authorities.
During his stay on the island nation, Farrakhan urged the White House to exert justice for the five Cuban anti-terrorists illegally imprisoned in US jails.
He also slammed the US travel restrictions that keep Americans from visiting Cuba and called for lifting such arbitrary regulations. He said the Cuban Revolution´s original ideals are more humanist than any of the religions he is acquainted with.
When attending the radio-TV roundtable broadcast Monday, Farrakhan rejected George W. Bush´s warmongering policy, revealing that in 2001, he sent a letter to the president warning him about Iraq.
Shortly before concluding the program, the religious leader sent a message to Cubans, affirming the US people will love Cuba when the truth about it is fully known.
"The Cuban Revolution must be defended, as this is one of the richest nations regarding human nature and development," the visitor stressed.
US Leader Rejects Blockade of Cuba
Havana, Mar 27 (Prensa Latina) US Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan decried the US blockade against Cuba Monday and vowed to spread the truth about the Island's revolutionary process among the US people.
In remarks for local and foreign media at the end of his visit to Cuba, the leader of the "Nation of Islam" demanded justice from the White House for the five Cuban anti-terrorism fighters illegally held in US prisons.
He said it was necessary to visit Cuba in order to learn first hand that the ideas of the Revolution are more humanistic than those known by him from all religions.
He referred to the organization of the people in Cuba, which guarantees the preservation of life in case of natural disasters, and he compared it with the tragedy suffered by New Orleans residents hit by Hurricane Katrina and the US government's failure.
Farrakhan highlighted the way Cuba guarantees free health and education for all and recalled that in his country any youngster who studies medicine ends up with a debt of about $150,000, while Havana grants scholarships to poor youngsters of the world.
He recalled that despite the US blockade and threats of invasion, Cuba offered to send 1,000 doctors to aid US Katrina victims, which was rejected by President George W. Bush.
In Cuba, we saw the miracle of Operation Miracle, as well as young people training to be social workers, he stressed.
Farrakhan Blasts Preventive War Strategy on Cuba TV Program
By Roberto Perez Betancourt
Havana, March 28 (AIN) Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of Nation of Islam religious and socio political organization, rejected the Bush Administration s preventive wars, in remarks made Monday on the Cuban radio and TV program The Round Table.
Farrakhan and his delegation were the guests on the hour-and-a-half prime time program and the minister recalled a letter he sent to President Bush back in 2001, warning him about the dangers of unleashing a war on Iraq.
We are witnessing times of global war, and those who promote war and violence should be defeated. Only when this happens will weapons be turned into plows, said Farrakhan.
He added that some day, the American people will love the Cuban people, once they get to know the truth that has been hidden by the US government through a media machinery that must be defeated.
Cubans should be proud of their achievements and their perseverance in fighting those who try to oppress them, said the anti-poverty and anti-racism leader.
The Nation of Islam was founded in the 1930s. It achieved great recognition after current leader Louis Farrakhan organized the Million Man March on the Washington Mall in 1995 to promote self-reliance among blacks.
Farrakhan said that after the Federal government's failure in dealing with the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina, the Nation of Islam decided to organize ministries to assess the most pressing problems of blacks, Latinos and poor people in general. This, he explained, is a reason why they decided to visit Cuba, a country that is prepared to successfully face natural disasters, with a minimum loss of human lives.
Asked by Round Table moderator of the current fate of the Katrina victims, Minister Farrakhan said that seven months later, the victims of the storm are scattered in 44 states of the union, while Federal Government and New Orleans officials seem little concerned about the return of these displaced people to their homes.
He added that real estate agents are taking advantage of the situation, and since New Orleans was primarily populated by blacks, it appears that politicians do not want them to return.
Therefore, the displaced blacks will have no chance to be back and make themselves heard in the November elections, added Farrakhan, who noted that Reverend Jessie Jackson is spearheading the commitment to see that these people s rights are honored.
Louis Farrakhan also thanked Cuban President Fidel Castro and the Cuban Baseball Federation for donating the funds it was to receive for its participation in the World Baseball Classic to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. He explained the actions he will undertake to make sure that the money ultimately reaches them.
Arbar Muhammad, minister of Foreign Affairs of the Nation of Islam, told the audience about the visits the delegation made to the Latin American School of Medicine and other educational facilities where they were exposed to experiences that the delegation will bring back to the United States to implement in different communities.
We have learned a lot from what we have seen in Cuba, and now we have a model to follow, said Education Minister Conrad W. Worrill, who was particularly pleased by the visit to the Social Workers School, where he found a revolutionary concept in the training of the students.
Rasul Muhammad, minister of Science and Technology, stated that he had never seen a nation that paid more attention to people s needs than Cuba, and he described the visit to the island as extremely useful.
Other members of the Nation of Islam delegation also participated on The Round Table program, expressing their views on what they have seen in their visit to Cuba.
The delegation headed by Minister Farrakhan
arrived in Cuba on March 19 and was met by the President of the Cuban
Parliament, Ricardo Alarcon.
GRANMA March 28, 2006
Louis Farrakhan Impressed by Cuban People
Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the US religious and sociopolitical organization the Nation of Islam, said that he was pleasantly impressed by the work, hospitality, solidarity and humanitarian spirit of the Cuban people.
During a press conference in Havana, the Afro-American leader made a public demand for the lifting of the US blockade on Cuba. He also called for justice in the case of the Cuban Five anti-terrorist fighters, who remain behind US bars over seven years after their arrest and arbitrary trial in Miami.
Farrakhan called the US blockade wicked, saying that it was a policy used by Washington to punish a nation that dared to have its own ideas and destiny.
After spending several days in Cuba, the Nation of Islam leader said that his delegation felt solidarity with a people who have suffered and are poor in many things, but are extremely rich on a humanitarian scale.
He criticized the Bush government for having refused Cuba's offer to send more than 1,500 doctors to help the victims of hurricane Katrina and said that one of the motives of his visit was to learn about the steps Cuba takes in dealing with natural disasters so that he can help local and federal organizations in his country put together a report on the subject.
Farrakhan said that he was committed in bringing the Cuban reality home to the US people and harshly criticized Washington's official policy towards the island.
During his visit, the religious leader toured
many sights of interest and held talks with several leaders from Cuban
organizations. Farrakhan concludes his visit on Tuesday. (SE)
US Newspaper Distorts Farrakhan Visit to Cuba
By Circles Robinson* March 29, 2006
When the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper reported on the recently concluded trip of Louis Farrakhan to Cuba it deliberately tried to mislead its readers by allowing US government officials to discredit the Nation of Islam minister.
On the next to last day of his week long visit to Havana, Farrakhan and his delegation participated on the hour-and-a-half prime time Round Table, broadcast nationwide on Cuban TV and radio, something Black progressives could never have in the United States, even if they paid millions to try and buy the airtime.
Farrakhan explained on the show that after the Federal government’s failure in dealing with the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina, the Nation of Islam decided to organize ministries to assess the most pressing problems of Blacks, Latinos and poor people in general. This, he explained, is a reason why they decided to visit Cuba, “a country that is prepared to successfully face natural disasters, with a minimum loss of human lives.”
The minister told his Cuban audience that the victims of the storm are now scattered over 44 states and that Federal and New Orleans officials seem little concerned about their fate. He added that “real estate agents are taking advantage of the situation,” and since New Orleans was primarily populated by Blacks, “it appears that politicians do not want them to return.”
However, the Tribune-Review goes head over heals to allow the administration to try and deny what everybody with a television knows; that Black Americans and Latinos living in the Gulf States and especially New Orleans were totally, if not criminally abandoned, by the government in the onslaught and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
"Going to Cuba to learn about emergency management would be akin to going down there to learn about democracy," the paper quotes Steve McCraw, former assistant director of the FBI, and Texas director of homeland security as claiming.
McCraw brags how US officials “were responsible for saving 11,000 lives,” although he doesn’t mention, and the newspaper doesn’t recall, the more than a thousand who died unnecessarily.
Meanwhile, Louis Farrakhan thanked the Cuban Baseball Federation for donating the funds it was to receive for its participation in the World Baseball Classic to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. He said he would take action to make sure that the money reaches them, despite attempts of the Bush administration to detour the funds.
The Tribune-Review article, which pretends to be about Farrakhan’s trip to Cuba and his findings, then goes on to remind us that the United States does not have full diplomatic relations with Cuba, “a totalitarian state.”
The newspaper then echoes the US State Department stating: “the regime is desperate for American dollars to prop itself up.” What it doesn’t mention is that the Cuban government has successfully eliminated the US dollar from transactions on the island preferring other currencies like the Euro, British Pound and the Canadian Dollar. It also fails to inform its readers that the island is recovering from its 1990s recession experiencing a tourism boom and expanded trade and investment with Venezuela, China, Canada and other countries.
The Tribune-Review also fails to mention that the subject of its article, Louis Farrakhan, stated: “Cubans should be proud of their achievements and their perseverance in fighting those who try to oppress them,” in reference to the US government.
Speaking in Havana, the minister added, “We are witnessing times of global war, and those who promote war and violence should be defeated. Only when this happens will weapons be turned into plows.”
Farrakhan totally contradicts the Pittsburgh papers’ contentions by noting in his first hand account, “The American people will love the Cuban people once they get to know the truth that has been hidden by the US government through a media machinery that must be defeated.”
Another member of the delegation that visited Cuba, Arbar Muhammad, minister of Foreign Affairs of the Nation of Islam, commented on the group’s tour of several educational facilities including the Latin American School of Medicine, where thousands of scholarship students from some 20 countries including the US are studying. He said the visits exposed the group to positive experiences that they will take back to the United States to implement in different communities.
“We have learned a lot from what we have seen in Cuba, and now we have a model to follow,” said Nation of Islam Education Minister Conrad W. Worrill, who was particularly pleased by the visit to the Social Workers School, where he found “a revolutionary concept in the training of the students.”
Rasul Muhammad, minister of Science and Technology, stated that he had never seen a nation that paid more attention to people’s needs than Cuba, and he described the visit to the island as “extremely useful,” a far cry from the waste of time implied by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
*Circles Robinson is a US journalist living in
His articles can be seen at www.circlesonline.blogspot.com